Dining-in honors Marine
By Sgt Joshua Bozeman
| | June 5, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, GA -- Several officers bid farewell to a departing general during a dining-in held Saturday at the Base Conference Center.
Brig. Gen. Richard Kramlich and his wife Gail were the guests of honor for the event and were set to leave Albany Sunday.
A dining-in is similar to a mess night, with Marines gathering for a night of camaraderie and tradition. However, spouses can attend dining-ins, but are barred from mess nights.
The evening began with an hour of socializing, followed by the traditional 'bringing on the beef.' Chef Vern Grant brought a slice of the prime rib for the president of the mess, Col. Joseph Wingard, the base commander, to sample.
Traditionally, the president of the mess must declare the beef fit for human consumption before it can be served.
As the night progressed, Wingard introduced Kramlich, who shared some of the significant values he has learned during his 30 years in the Marine Corps. Having been married for more than 30 years, the general officer attributed much of his success to his wife and her unwavering support.
Kramlich said he went to The Basic School with no idea about what to expect or what was expected of him, despite the stories he had heard and his study of the Corps' history.
"I didn't understand what being a Marine was until I stood in front of my first platoon. I still remember every one of their faces," said Kramlich. "That's when I realized what the oath of office was all about."
Kramlich emphasized the importance of the oath of office and said the toughest challenge a Marine ever faces is living up to the example set by those who came before him. He cited Operation Iraqi Freedom as proof that today's Marines continue to meet that challenge.
The night's festivities included several toasts formal and informal. Historic battles and groups of Marines famous for their courage and valor were formally toasted while informal toasts were made to today's Marines, Sailors and Soldiers.